Monthly Archives: January 2016

Why Do LOW BALL OFFERS Seldom Work?

Selling your house can be a series of extreme highs and extreme lows.

You meet the perfect real estate broker.  They go through extensive pricing info including comps, market data, and detailed sales info.  Once you sift through all of that you determine your best selling price.  Then the hard work begins.

You meet with the stager and get a long list of things to pack away and repair.  The repairs involve 3 trades and you having to take lots of time off work.  It’s all worth it as it will help you get top dollar when you sell.  So you plug away.

Then the day finally comes when you list the home on MLS and start to get showings.  The first low is when you do not get an offer 1 hour into being on the market.  Is this going to take longer than a day?  It almost always does unless you are in one of those super hot Austin neighborhoods everyone wants (Circle C, Tarrytown, Western Oaks, Shady Hollow etc).

But finally you receive an offer!…When your agent comes over they have a solemn look on their face…What could be wrong?  When you start going over the offer you are shocked to learn that not only is the offer 10% below list but the agent has written a letter telling you and your Broker why you are so wrong in how you priced your home.  You are insulted and tell the agent “Call that agent and tell them to take a flying leap!.  I would never sell for that!”

Your broker tells you that it’s common and you should counter offer but you find yourself hating this insulting buyer even though you have never met them and know nothing about them.  After much discussion you and the Broker decide that the best course of action is to counter at full price or close to it.

So what has the buyer and the buyers agent accomplished?    Nothing….except…They have upset the seller to the point that they do not want to sell to them.  What a bad way to start off a good faith negotiation!

A better strategy is to offer close to the price you are willing to pay for the property.  Give yourself a little wiggle room but do not insult the seller.  They will strongly consider your offer and probably move more your way than they would if you low ball.

Negotiating is a learned skill and not all agents are good negotiators.  Sometimes an agent has to low ball because the client wants them to.  If you have to low ball  it is better to just tell the seller “This is what we feel the property is worth” instead of telling them they overpriced the home, it smells and needs upgrading.  Of course they are insulted!

Some situations do call for low ball offers.  Bank owned distressed properties for example, that have been on the market for a long time, call for low offers.  But not a well priced, clean home that is loved by a seller.

Save yourself the headache of making someone mad for nothing.  Don’t write low offers on good properties.

For more info on effective Real Estate Negotiations call Steve Mallett at (512) 627-7018 or

Steve Mallett has been a Real Estate Broker in the SW Austin, Dripping Springs area since 2003.  Specializing in listing to sell and representing buyers in the local area. 


8 Steps to Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh during the Winter

As winter settles in, we spend much more time indoors.  Being confined indoors means bad news if there are any triggers for allergies or asthma inside the home. Not to mention the fireplace smells, outdoor animals that are spending more time indoors because of the cold and children that are home inside more often. If your house is on the market or your you just want a clean home, follow some of these tips.

  1. Diffuser with essential oils – A few drops of your favorite smell can do your house wonders.  It creates a light mist with fragrant throughout your home.
  2. Lemons & Oranges – If the garbage disposal is still giving off the smell of last night’s dinner, run some lemon or orange peels through it to eliminate the odor.
  3. Lamp double duty – Put a dab of vanilla extract on light bulbs when the lights are off. Once the lights are turned on, the bulb will heat up the extract and emit a delicious smell.
  4. Potted plants aren’t just for looks   they’re also natural air purifiers. Some of the best are different kinds of palm trees, orchids and peace lilies.
  5. Pet Smells – If you love your cat but don’t love litter box odor, mix tea leaves with the litter. It will help to neutralize the smell.  Odors from pets can be from pet stains in carpet/pad or furnishings, or it can be from wet fur of animals.  Try getting your carpets steam cleaned on a regular basis and get pets house trained to keep carpets smelling fresh. Consider using a carpet powder or light baby powder on carpet and vacuum.
  6. Simmer Pot Recipe – For a long-lasting wonderful aroma that permeates your entire home, try a simmer pot recipe. Use this around the winter holidays to create a warm, homey ambiance.
    • Peel from 1 lemon
      Peel from 1 orange
      2 bay leaves
      3 cinnamon sticks
      2 Tablespoons whole cloves

    Add all these items to a medium pot or a small crock-pot. Add water to fill about halfway. Turn the burner on to low and let this simmer all day. If using a crock pot, set on low and let it freshen the air.

  7. Keep it Clean – With everyone spending more time inside the house, there is more of a chance with things such as pollen, dander, and dust mites to thrive. With more coughing and sneezing and less window opening, the air quality inside your home can be more dangerous than the air quality outside. Make certain to keep your home clean with regular dusting and mopping. If you do not have a fan in your bathroom to eliminate moisture that can cause mold to grow, perhaps now is a good time to invest in one.
  8. Don’t just sweep or mop – Using a vacuum that has good filtration and a HEPA filter is best. Of course, keeping the dust out can begin at the door. Install a dust walk-off system (grills, grates or mats that reduce the amount of dirt and dust that come into the home) and take your shoes off when entering. Having hard flooring is much better than carpet. Dust is harder to remove from carpet, and the older the carpeting is, the more difficult it is to clean. If you are going to clean your carpet, steam cleaning is better than chemical cleaners or shampooing.